When putting together your home theater system, there are a number of things you need to take into consideration before you shell out the first penny for any new components. You need to take your décor into account: will what you’re looking to buy fit into your décor, will it fit into the furniture and space you have available? You also need to ask yourself what you want out of your home theater system. If you want the movie theater experience without the fat head in front of you and the sticky soda and who-knows what else under you, you need to do a little more thinking than the person that’s just looking for a way to watch a few movies and some TV shows.
Pay Attention to Your Décor
It’s not very smart to go out and spend a couple thousand dollars on home theater equipment that doesn’t fit into the furniture or space you have available. If you already have an entertainment center and don’t plan on replacing it, unless you plan on moving it and freeing up some space on a wall or on a TV stand or table, you need to make sure that the TV you buy will fit into the entertainment center you have.
The speakers that come with home entertainment systems/home theater systems are usually available in your choice of black, silver, or sometimes brown cases. Pay attention to the color listed on the box when purchasing these systems. Black and silver go pretty well in any décor, but brown will look out of place with most color schemes.
Pay Attention to Your Environment
When buying that top of the line surround sound system, you need to ask yourself how loud you want the movie soundtracks to be able to go. You also need to know whether you simply want to hear the really low frequencies present in your movies, or do you want to feel those uber-low notes? If you want to feel the audio as much as hear it, you need to make sure the amplifier and speakers you purchase are able to reproduce the lowest notes possible, say 40 Hertz and lower.
Do you live in an apartment or condo where volume levels will probably be an issue? If so, there’s no need to spend as much money on the power output of the amplifier. Conversely, you should invest a little more money in speakers that are capable of producing sound down to 20 Hertz with a (SPL-absolute loudness) of at least 90 decibels (dB). The higher the SPL, the louder the program will sound without requiring increases in volume.
On the other hand, if you live in a house with good separation from the neighbors and you want to hear and feel the audio portion of your movies, you’ll want an amplifier that’s capable of putting out 500 watts and more, while at the same time producing audio as low as possible, with 40-50 Hertz being the upper end of the low end you want to look for. The lower the amp and speakers can go, the more you’ll feel the audio portions. You also may want to ensure that the amplifier has a readily acceptable jack for headphones, so you can listen with volume even late at night.
Pick the Right TV Service:
Whether you are into streaming video or just want a good selection of tv shows and sports you need to make an important decision when getting your service selected. There are some big differences between DirecTV and Cable that can make or break your new home theater. If you’re into football DirecTV is definitely the way to go. Signing up for DirecTV doesn’t have to be done directly through their site. Some affiliate sites like can save you a few dollars. If you really not that into sports than normal cable complimented with a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu allow you an endless selection of TV shows to watch.
Display or LCD Projector?
If you’ve got a sizable section of unobstructed wall and you either have a larger family or plan on having many people over for movie nights, you might want to consider an LCD projector instead of a more traditional TV. LCD projectors can be set up to take advantage of large empty walls or screens and can be configured to display an image size with high definition that no TV is capable of. The projector will help deliver an as close to movie theater experience as possible.